The US Department of State, working closely with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and other partner agencies, will provide a chartered aircraft to bring passengers directly from Japan to the United States.
The Embassy informed American passengers and crew on board about this decision in an email sent at 3:24, Tokyo time. A copy of the letter can be read here.
(February 15, 2020, U.S. Embassy Tokyo: MESSAGE TO U.S. CITIZEN DIAMOND PRINCESS PASSENGERS AND CREW
The U.S. government’s top priority is the welfare and safety of U.S. citizens. The U.S. Embassy has
been in continual contact with you since the quarantine began in Japan, and U.S. health experts have
been working closely with Carnival Cruise Lines and the government of Japan to assess the unique
circumstances on the Diamond Princess. We recognize this has been a stressful experience and we
remain dedicated to providing all the support we can and seeing you safely and expeditiously
reunited with family and friends in the United States.
This is a dynamic situation. We are deeply grateful to the cruise line and government of Japan for
working diligently to contain and control the spread of the illness. However, to fulfill our
government’s responsibilities to U.S. citizens under our rules and practices, as well as to reduce the
the burden on the Japanese healthcare system, the U.S. government recommends, out of an abundance of
caution, that U.S. citizens disembark and return to the United States for further monitoring.
To ensure a smooth return to the United States, the Department of State (DoS), working closely with
the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and other partner agencies, will provide a
chartered aircraft to bring you directly from Japan to the United States.
The aircraft will arrive in Japan on the evening of February 16. Buses will move you and your
belongings from the ship to the aircraft. Passengers will be screened for symptoms and we are
working with our Japanese partners to ensure that any symptomatic passengers receive the required
care in Japan if they cannot board the flight. The aircraft will land in the United States at Travis Air
Force Base in California. Some passengers will then continue onward to Lackland Air Force Base in
Texas. We will provide information about your final destination prior to boarding the plane.
Travelers returning to the United States from high-risk areas are required to undergo quarantine.
Accordingly, you will need to undergo further quarantine of 14 days when you arrive in the United
States. We understand this is frustrating and an adjustment, but these measures are consistent with
the careful policies we have instituted to limit the potential spread of the disease. We appreciate
your understanding and cooperation and will provide all the assistance we can to support the
Should you choose not to return on this charter flight, you will be unable to return to the United
States for a period of time. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will make a final
determination on this matter.
We will continue to provide more information on travel plans for returning to the United States as it
becomes available. In the meantime, please continue to follow the recommendations for protecting your
health and the health of others while onboard the ship.
Again, we are deeply grateful to the government of Japan, as well as Japanese citizens and NGOs, for
their extraordinary care and hospitality and their assistance in facilitating the care and return of our
We continue to collaborate closely with HHS, Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Government of Japan, and Carnival Cruise Lines on all aspects of this dynamic situation. The U.S. Embassy remains in close contact with all relevant authorities to ensure U.S. citizens aboard the ship, and their families, are fully informed as the situation develops.
Our primary goal is to ensure the welfare and safety of all U.S. citizens involved, a Press statement issued by US consulate, in Japan has said today.
Note: U.S. citizens aboard the Diamond Princess, hospitalized at local hospitals, as well as their friends and family can continue to reach us at USGShipContact@state.gov or call us at (+81) 03-3224-5000.